What to Wear When Strolling Through Marrakech’s Spice Markets

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Jet-setting across the seven seas, or simply swapping neighborhood spots, What To Wear When is your weekly column for shopping inspiration.

Abundant in exquisite mosaics, stunning architecture, beautiful courtyards, and fragrant “souks” (or markets) brimming with exotic spices, it’s no wonder Marrakech has been a main source of inspiration for many for decades. But perhaps none has been more attracted to the far-flung destination than Yves Saint Laurent, who called the Moroccan city his second home, having bought a cobalt blue villa in 1966 and planning getaways with his longtime partner Pierre Bergé, along with his flock of close friends-slash-muses, including Betty Catroux, Loulou de La Falaise, Talitha Getty, and Marian McEvoy (pictured, above, in 1977).

“Marrakech taught me color,” the iconic designer once said. “Before Marrakech, everything was black.” (His works are available for viewing at Musée Yves Saint Laurent in Marrakech.)

And while he was in Marrakech, Saint Laurent was often seen in either a breezy white caftan (which made for a striking contrast against the backdrop of a busy local town square) or colorful mixed prints grounded by utilitarian tops and ’70s flares. For your trip to Marrakech, pack both of Saint Laurent’s vacation uniforms to navigate the city’s spice markets, ride camelback into the sunset, or lounge on a blanket with a best friend.

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